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Staff Optical Engineer at Illumina, Inc.

Posted in Management 30+ days ago.

This job brought to you by eQuest

Type: Full-Time
Location: San Diego, California

Job Description:


  • This position in Illumina’s R&D department will contribute to the development of new, industry-leading genetic analysis platforms for life sciences and clinical markets:  Provide optical engineering expertise and best practice to innovative optical system design, implementation, testing, and analysis. Work in an interdisciplinary team environment to develop industry-leading genetic analysis instrumentation products.


    • Develop innovative, robust, and cost-effective optical system designs and implement in Illumina’s next generation sequencing instruments

    • Design, assemble, align, test, troubleshoot, and integrate breadboards to prove concepts

    • Model and develop complex custom optical components and modules.  Carry design for reliability, design for testability, design for manufacturability, and design for serviceability in daily work 
    • Manage optical tolerance budget; conduct optical troubleshooting, testing, and analysis; build correlation between optics and system level performance metrics

    • Provide solutions to manufacturing issues of custom optical design and yield improvement during volume ramp-up

    • Lead and define thermal, vibration, and other stress tests of optical system

    • Collaborate with vendors to develop complex custom optical components and modules; manage vendors through specifications, statement of work contracts, and other technical interactionsto achieve all specs

    • Collaborate with cross-functional and global teams (mechanical, electrical, software, fluidic, etc.) to meet system level performance specs

    • MS or PhD in Optical Engineering or related discipline
    • 7 to 10 years hands-on experience with optical design and implementation; participation in a concept through production cycle of a successful optical instrument with aggressive project timelines and performance/cost targets

    • Familiar with both component-level and system-level optical specification and design

    • Familiar with both imaging optics and illumination optics design and implementation 

    • Proficiency in design, analysis, and tolerancing using ZEMAX or similar software

    • Familiar with optical alignment methodologies and equipment
    • Familiar with optical test methodologies and equipment
    • Familiar with opto-mechanical tolerance analysis 

    • Demonstrated experience in leading optical design and implementation in a commercial product
    • Excellent technical judgment and prioritization 

    • Excellent analysis and communication skills

    • Records of vendor management of custom design with high complexity

    • Records of working in a fast moving environment while keeping up with aggressive timelines

    • Familiarity with fluorescence microscope lens design and manufacturing is a plus

    • Familiarity with auto-focus and focus tracking design and control is a plus

Illumina believes that everyone has the ability to make an impact, and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to providing employment opportunity regardless of sex, race, creed, color, gender, religion, marital status, domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, pregnancy, military or veteran status, citizenship status, and genetic information. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please contact us at To learn more, visit: